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By Flt Lt Kirsty Piccavey - 1466 (Holmfirth) Squadron
The Corps Drill and Ceremonial Warrant Officer Tony Bird asked if each Region could provide an Arms Drill display team for the National Drill Championships held at RAF Halton in November.
North Regions Warrant Officer Kevin Piccavey took up the challenge to create North Regions A team in eight weeks.
There were 13 cadet volunteers who were up for a new challenge 4 cadets from 1466 Holmfirth Squadron and 9 cadets from 59 Huddersfield Squadron, a team was born.
With help from Huddersfield Sea Cadets, TS Highburton who provided the drill hall in which to practice and parade practice rifles to enable the 13 cadets to become a team, learn arms drill and practice their routine.
After many nights of dedicated practice and a few bruises later the cadets had a routine in place.
Thanks to South and West Yorkshire Wings Warrant Officer Aidy Burbridge for stepping in on the final night of practice and helping the team to finalise the routine the team were ready.
When the competition details were announced the team found out that there was no accommodation available at RAF Halton a 10 hour round trip to RAF Halton had to be made to perform in front of the Commandant for the 3 minute routine. After the commitment the team had made over the past few weeks nothing could stop them, the team were up for it and with supporting adult staff Sgt Liam Clarke, Flt Sgt Nick King and WO Chris Nichols and cadet supporters they set off by coach for RAF Halton.
At the drill hanger the cadets had time for a final practice then on with the routine for the Commandant and spectators.
The Commandant was so impressed with the team that she asked them to perform for a second time in front of Air Vice Marshall Andrew Turner Air Officer Commanding & Chief of Staff, Number 22 (Training) Group RAF.
Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty RAFR stated in a recent email “I was pleased to see the short demonstration by the N Reg continuity drill team and can now see how such a sequence could build into an equally fiercely-fought inter-Region competition, which I think will take cadet drill to another level from 2017 onwards.”
Commanding Officer 1466 Holmfirth Squadron Flt Lt Kirsty Piccavey said “I am incredibly proud of the cadets for their commitment and taking on such a new challenge and hope that other cadets will be inspired to have a go. ”